One Day

Year: 2011
Studio: Universal
Director: Lone Scherfig
Writer: David Nicholls
Cast: Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Patricia Clarkson

The poster art for this film made me think it was going to be a romantic comedy with an edgy, Gen X feel. Even the concept had all the hallmarks of a Katherine Heigl or Amy Adams rom com. Instead it's quite a heartfelt drama that gets under your skin when it turns unexpectedly sad.

Young Brits Emma (Hathaway) and Dex (Sturgess – urbane, classy and miles away from the stammering young hero of Heartless) meet after university graduation and kind-of-sort-of-not end up in bed but decide to stay friends despite the abortive fumblings of the encounter. Every year on the same day we visit them again, seeing how their lives are developing and changing in relation to their careers, relationships and each other.

Dex starts out the host of a trashy variety show while Emma struggles in a crappy waitressing job, but as time rolls on Dex ends up a burnt out drunk not worthy of friendship to anyone while Emma finally finds success as a writer.

After too many years the pair finally give in to the love they've always had for each other until the shocking pre-climax plot turn (although I've either watched too many movies or the blocking of the shot telegraphed what was going to happen too far ahead) when Dex finally finds himself.

Hathaway plays a convincing Brit and the role really shows what she can do with smart romantic drama much like Love and Other Drugs did. It's all the better because of the realism and naturalness in the performances. There were sniffles everywhere around me in my screening and I don't mind admitting I nearly had one or two myself. Not one to watch if you're at a low emotional ebb but lovely, realistic and sad.

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